Weight Management

Chewing the fat

Jordan Spieth, #1 golfer in the world and last week’s Open Champion in England, had an awful lot written about his gum chewing during this most recent tournament. Perhaps the commentators had too much time on their hands. But really?

They speculated it helped him concentrate.  Perhaps if the gum contained caffeine…but I suspect it released some nervous energy.

Chewing gum is occasionally discussed along with weight management. Can it burn off fat? A 2009 U of Rhode Island short term study suggested it is helpful and postulated part of the benefit was the actual motion of chewing. Wrigley supported that study.

LSU study participants suggested gum chewing stopped snack cravings.

But here’s what I think. Gum chewing can be a health habit stacker. When you finish a meal, pop in a piece of (sugarless) gum. That indicates you’re done eating. So, you’re not eating leftovers when putting them away. You’re not taking those last fries from your child’s plate. You’re not thinking about eating dessert when you’re not even hungry.

It’s a signal, you’re done.

Brushing your teeth after eating is another health habit stacker that’s a bit more challenging to institute.

If mindless snacking or continuing to eat even after you’re satisfied sounds like you, try a stick of gum to be well,


PS A few downsides to excessive gum chewing: swallowing air, consuming too much sorbitol (or other sugar alcohol). A few sticks daily SHOULD be fine.


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How fast are you going?

So, I’m reading a Brenda Kinsel blog post: she says she’s always “lived at 75 mph” and is just now trying to figure out how to slow herself down to 35! That brought to mind another way to outsmart your diet. Slow down!

Three questions to determine if you are going too fast:

  • do you ever eat snacks directly from the box or bag?
  • do you routinely turn off all electronics at mealtimes?
  • do your meals last at least 20 minutes?

Take time to serve yourself and enjoy the look of your food; you’re worth both a plate and a napkin!

Screens take your focus away from your beautiful plate. If there’s something SO IMPORTANT you must look at some device, then don’t eat. That topic deserves your undivided attention.

The 20 minute “rule” for a meal is backed by science. The stomach and intestines send several messages to the brain to let us know the food has arrived and its delish. Besides the chemical communications, the stomach even has stretch receptors to let you know you’ve eaten enough. But are you focused enough to hear the message: I’m full, I’m satisfied, you can stop eating now.

With time, you will trust your body to not eat more than it needs; slow down those meals to help manage your weight and be well,


PS For those interested in the Stanford Study about organically grown foods, this brief summary will get you started: https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2012/09/little-evidence-of-health-benefits-from-organic-foods-study-finds.html




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